MONTGOMERY, AL (WSFA) - CT scans have revolutionized medicine. They allow doctors to see inside the human body and diagnose problems without invasive surgery.
"You can see stones, bruises on the brain, even locate tumors and blockages," explained Baptist Medical Center South's Kelly Putnam.
Putnam is Baptist South's Radiation Safety Coordinator. He showed us his hospital's newest CT scanner, which generates an amazing 64 slices of the human body in just one second.
But that added imagery equals added radiation. Research shows one CT scan is equivalent to as many 500 regular chest X-rays.
You got a little bit too much...
Becky Coudert was one of dozens of patients at a Huntsville hospital who were told they received "elevated levels" of radiation during CT scans. She says it caused hair loss, headaches and memory loss.
"Eventually I was told, you got a little bit too much," she recalls.
Her hair grew back, but she still wonders what is going on inside her body.
"We are not informed. None of us knows that we are getting so much." Coudert warns. "When we have a cat scan, no one knows how dangerous it is."